Tag Archives: King and Queen County

Runaway Apprentice: Samuel Philip Pryor

As summer came to an end in September 1840 coach makers in Norfolk put an ad in the Richmond Whig for a runaway apprentice: Samuel Philip Pryor. Pryor was 19 years old and described as having kin in King and Queen County, VA–it’s unclear if they were Pryor relatives or another surname. There are Pryors who were coachmakers in Baltimore. Wonder if there was a connection.

Richmond Whig (Richmond, VA), 1 September 1840.

Pryor Slave in Richmond Tobacco Factory Fight


A slave named Aleck Bagby, owned by Dr. Sam’l Fauntleroy, of King and Queen, on yesterday evening bit off the entire lower lip of Fleming Pryer, a slave, owned by W. R. Robinson, Esq., in a fight, at the factory of the latter, on Franklin, below 20th street — Dr. James Dove was summoned in haste, and stitched on the dissevered part.
— Richmond Dispatch, Richmond VA 4 March 1861

Samuel G Fauntleroy is on the 1850 census in King and Queen County and states his profession as physician, but do the slaves or their owners lead back to a Pryor?

W. R. Robinson is on the 1860 Non-Population Schedule, recorded as a manufacturer of tobacco.

It should be noted that Dr. James Dove was also summoned to a Richmond scene

I may have found Bagby– an Alexander Bagby worked in a tobacco factory in Richmond:

1870 Census, Henrico county, Richmond Clay Ward
Alexander Bagby 44 male B works in tobacco fac. Virginia.
Elizabeth 44 female B keeping house Virginia
Jeremiah 18 male B works in tobacco fac. Virginia.
George 17 male B ? Virginia.

Fleming Pryor was also on the 1870 Census and the 1880 Census:

1870 Census, Goochland County, VA
Lickenhole, page 120b, house Fleming PRYOR 67 black male born VA

1880 Census Richmond, Henrico County, VA
Richmond, page 487c, Fleming PRYOR 71 black make born VA, parents both born in VA, sick with old age. Edith wife 59 washer woman born VA, parents both born in VA. Edith Pryor 27. Martha 14.

Fleming Pryor died in 1886 in Richmond. He was recorded as a “factory hand” and he was born in 1824 in Hanover County, VA.

Bagby’s owner Samuel G. Fauntleroy connects to a Pryor. Samuel Fauntleroy with Elizabeth Antoinette DeNeuville Pryor (the widow of Brazure Williams Pryor) witnessed the will of Robert B. Boyd in 1838.

1838 Will – Will of Robert B Boyd 1838. Records of King and Queen Co. King and Queen C.H. Virginia. Will Book 1, page 102. Will of Robert B Boyd. Dated 30 May 1838. Prob. 11 June 1838. Friend Christopher John D PRYOR Esqr to be guardian “of my two children Mary Francis and Roberta Byrd Boyd. Two uncles Beverly D. Roy and Augustus G. D. Roy to have blooded horses. Wife Mary A Boyd. Exor: “my friend George K Carlton. Wit: E.A. PRYOR, Samuel G Fauntleroy, Junius x PRYOR. This will recorded 2nd Nov 1869

There are so many pieces connected to this simple 1861 news piece. Slaves such as Alexander Bagby were hired out to factory owners like W. R. Robinson. Maybe Fleming Pryor was another rented slave or perhaps Robinson acquired him from a Pryor or Fleming family. Does his name shed light on a Virginia Pryor family?

It’s A New Pryor to Add to The List– Arthur Pryor (d. abt. 1752)

lunenburg1It has driven me absolutely NUTS. Catherine Pryor who married Henry Lansford and they are connected to Pittsylvania County, VA and Williamson County, TN– who were her parents? Several researchers have posted online that she was from Lunenburg County, VA. But, there aren’t any Pryors in Lunenburg! At last I think I have a clue.

There’s an ad placed in The Virginia Gazette of Williamsburg, VA on 10 April 1752.

King and Queen, March 20, 1752
To Be Sold
One thousand and Eighty Acres of good Land, lying in the County of Lunenburg, on Toxekiah Creek, joining Lines of Baker, and Stunks, purchased of Mr. Charles Stunks, purchased of Mr. Charles Irby, by Arthur Pryor, deceas’d, the Pattent to be taken out in the Purchaser’s Name, or good lawful Deeds to be made by the said Irby, before the 10th day of June next, or after, when required, one Half the Money to be paid down, the other Half twelve Months after. Any Gentleman inclinable to purchase may know the Price, and by Direction may be met with at any convenient Place, to be treated with at any Time by
John Waller
Christopher Pryor,

ARTHUR PRYOR. Who the heck is Arthur Pryor?????

I suspect the Christopher Pryor is NOT the Christopher born about 1745 who was married to Catharine Clayton and living in Gloucester County. This is an older Christopher Pryor. I don’t completely trust Gatewood Pryor’s book, but here’s an interesting post that ID’s a Christopher Pryor in 1704 (archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/PRYOR/1998-06/0898146722). If this older Christopher and the Arthur in Lunenburg are connected then it suggests a kinship between that line and the Pryors who migrated through Pittsylvania County and Williamson County.

I can find only one other reference to Pryors in Lunenburg County: Thomas Dozer (or Dozier) married Caty Pryor on 17 June 1775. John Barry (or Berry?) was surety. This is about 30 years after Catharine and Henry Lansford married, and about 3 years before his death, so for now I have to believe this is a different Catherine or Caty Pryor.

Off to explore!

How Did Col. Samuel Pryor’s Genealogy Get So Messed Up?

Old Goochland Jail

I’ve seen many family trees that rely on the article titled “The Pryor Family” published more than 100 years ago in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 7 (1899)[copy available in Google Books]. I’ve relied on it myself. But how accurate could an article be that begins

On account of the destruction of county records, this account of the Pryors must be at present rather a collection of data than a connected and complete account of the family…

What this tells me is that the author had some data but it was beyond him to connect up the Pryor family. This doesn’t sound too reliable to me!  Alas, it sounds also sounds too familiar!

The Virginia Magazine article speaks of early land grants to Robert Pryor on Craney Creek in Gloucester County in the late l680’s and early 1690’s.  The article quotes a Mitchell family Bible that is inscribed with the story from the 1780’s that Samuel Pryor married Prudence Thornton and had 10 children- William, John, Thornton, Robert, Luke, Frank (Francis?), Joseph, Nancy, Molly, and Samuel. Because Molly Pryor was the direct ancestor of the Bible owner her year of birth was recorded as 1730. The writer then deduced from her year of birth that Robert on Craney Creek was old enough to be her grandfather and therefore the patriarch of this Pryor line.

The author corresponded with Judge R. A. Pryor in New York. This judge is Roger Atkinson Pryor, the Confederate General who went to New York City after the Civil War.  Judge Pryor used his father’s notes to fill in the pieces of Samuel and Prudence line carried on by their son John Pryor. The Judge didn’t state who John married but we now know from the Chancery Court Records that his wife was Mary Dennis.

I question this long-relied upon article– it comes apart on page 206

William Pryor, of Goochland, from comparison of all data, must have been the son of Colonel Samuel Pryor, with whom the account of the family given in the last number begins. Samuel Pryor, of Amelia and Goochland, must also have been another son.  Francis Pryor, of Orange, named in the Louisa deed, another son.  John Pryor of King and Queen, named in the Hanover deed, was probably a brother of Colonel Samuel Pryor.

I encourage family researchers to slow down and ask questions. Questions like,  What’s the evidence that Francis Pryor of Orange County who deeded land in Louisa County is related to William and his father Samuel? And, where did the author find documentation of a relationship between John Pryor in King and Queen and Col. Samuel and his son William?

The 1768 deed in Louisa County that names Francis Pryor and his wife Frances doesn’t name any other Pryors, nor did the author provide the names of other parties to the deed. I’ve done some online searches and can’t find the deed quoted in full, nor am I able to find any information on this Francis Pryor. There’s certainly not enough information to conclude he’s related to either Col. Samuel or his son William Pryor.

A John Pryor from King and Queen County may be pure speculation and a very poor conclusion. There’s a record of a “Major” Pryor in King and Queen County dated 1747 that mentions land in Brunswick County. The John Pryor in King and Queen records shows up in 1780 and that is Major John Pryor born 1750. He wasn’t even born in 1747 so he can’t be the Major Pryor who showed up on the 1747 record. I looked in Brunswick County and found the older Major Pryor there– named with his wife “Anne” on an 1749 indenture. It’s not the John Pryor, son of son of Col. Samuel Pryor because that John Pryor was married to Mary Dennis, not an Anne.

There’s a 1742 indenture filed in Amelia County for Philip Pryor and wife Ann of Hanover County, VA. The indenture deeded land to William Berry, possibly the same William Berry who married Molly Pryor (a daughter of Col. Samuel Pryor).  Was Philip Pryor the same man as Major Pryor? I think these were two different people because there’s an indenture for Philip Pryor that was witnessed by Major Pryor.

Possession obtained by William Berry in presence of Major Pryor & Timothy Murrell on Mar. 18, 1742. Deed ackn. By Philip Pryor & ordered rec. at Court held Mar. 18, 1742, after Ann, his wife, relinquished her Right of Dower.

While these old genealogy articles may contain histories and records that are no longer available, they need to be used with a spoonful of skepticism. Ask questions and lets get our hands on the old documents!

Widow Pryor’s War of 1812 Land Bounty Letter

Colonial Woman-Tappan Historiical Society 9-25-2010 (11) I have some more information on the widow of War of 1812 general Brazure Pryor. Mrs. Pryor was alive in 1851 and had started a query into her husband’s military bounty land. I have obtained a letter from the Library of Virginia.

Envelope: from Newtown, 5 February, 1851
To John K. Martin, Esq, Richmond, Virginia


New Town, King and Queen County
February 5, 1851

Mr. John K. Martin

Dear Sir, I am unacquainted with you but seeing your card in the Richmond Enquirer as a collector of claims, I wish you to attend to a claim for Mrs. E A Pryor who is entitled to a claim by the act of Congress in Sept. last. It is for the services of  her husband in the War of 1812. Her husband’s name was Brazure Williams Pryor. In the commencement of the war he was Captain of the Artillery Company and before the war closed was promoted to Brigadier General  and served at Hampton.  He was married to Elizabeth A De Neufville the 24 Sept 1807 by Parson Bracken at the time Professor of Wm. And Mary college.  There is a private record of her marriage ina Bible which Mrs. Pryor has—she thinks there is one in the clerks office at Williamsburg where she was married.  Her age is 58 years— is still a widow.  Her husband died in Norfolk on the 15 April 1827.  Are the facts can be established here, except in what company he served that I suppose can be established from the pay roll.  Mrs. Pryor refers you to John G. Mosley, R. G. Scott, —-? Richmond, and President Tyler, who were all intimately acquainted with her husband.  Perhaps the member from Hampton S___? Esquire could give you some information on the subject.  I should like to hear from you as early as possible to know if any thng can be done with her claim.  My address in New Town, Post office, King and Queen County, Va.

Very Respectfully yours,

Carter B. Fogg

The letter helped to establish that she was living in King and Queen County and can be found on the 1850 Census (see census extract).  I hadn’t found anywhere online a reference to the marriage date of Brazure Williams Pryor to Elizabeth A Deneufville— we now know it was in 1807.  I had in my notes that Brazure had died on the 21st, however that later date may have been when his death was announce in the press.

I suspect that we also discovered that Brazure and Elizabeth also had children.  I found an article: Hawes Family of Caroline Co., Va. Elizabeth Hawes Ryland, The William and Mary Quarterly– it states that Walker Hawes (the head of household on the 1850 Census) was married to Mary Pryor. I’m not finding any other writing which even speculates on the parents of this Mary Pryor. She’s certainly the right age to be a daughter of Brazure and Elizabeth Pryor.

I love it, so many loose ends in VA and they are getting tied up!